Singapore Airlines has grounded a pair of Boeing 787-10s owing to premature deterioration of the high pressure turbine (HPT) blades in their Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines.
“During recent routine inspections of Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines on Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 787-10 fleet, premature blade deterioration was found on some engines,” the airline states.
The blades that suffered deterioration were in the engine’s HPT section.
The carrier, working with R-R, identified other aircraft for precautionary inspections.
“All of these engine inspections on SIA’s 787-10 fleet have now been completed, and a remaining check will be completed on a Scoot 787-9 by 3 April,” it says. “Pending engine replacements, two SIA 787-10 aircraft have been removed from service.”
Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that SIA operates nine 787-10s with an average age of just one year. The only other Trent-powered 787-10 is a single example delivered recently to All Nippon Airways. The other 12 787-10s in service - including one operated by Boeing - are powered by General Electric GEnx-1Bs.
SIA confirms that the two grounded aircraft bear the registration numbers 9V-SCB and 9V-SCF. Both were delivered last year: 9V-SCB was delivered on 2 April 2018 and 9V-SCF on 26 June 2018.
Previous iterations of the Trent 1000 suffered durability issues with their intermediate pressure compressor blades, requiring redesign work.
In response to an query from FlightGlobal, the engine maker said that it has told operators that HPT blades in Trent 1000 TEN engines would have a limited life cycle, and that it has sampled a “small population” of the engine fleet that has “flown in more arduous conditions.”
R-R adds that it is working on a fix for the wear issue.
“This work has shown that a small number of these engines need to have their blades replaced earlier than scheduled. In anticipation of limited turbine blade life, our engineers have already developed and are testing an enhanced version of this blade,” it adds.
Globally, 295 787s of all variants are powered by Trent 1000s. Of these, 70 have Trent 1000 TEN engines.
Updated with registration numbers of the two grounded jets.